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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 448

Pfeiffer, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1892-1958. Papers, 1911-1958.


Papers of Methodist minister Robert Henry Pfeiffer, including writings, reviews of his books, general files kept by Pfeiffer, correspondence, and biographical information. The papers span 1911-1958.


  • Creation: 1911-1958.
  • Creation: 1929
  • Creation: 1941
  • Creation: 1949
  • Creation: 1957
  • Creation: 1961
  • Creation: 1918-1958


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


20 boxes

This collection is divided into seven series. Series I consists of Pfeiffer's writings, including college papers and early writings; prefaces, forewords, and introductions; articles for The Interpreter's Bible; translations; sermons and meditations; articles and book reviews in the field of Old Testament biblical studies and archaeology; and miscellaneous writings by Pfeiffer. The writings are arranged alphabetically by author, or title if no author is given. Series II contains applications for Guggenheim fellowships. Series III consists of reviews of Pfeiffer's books. Series IV is a collection of general files kept by Pfeiffer that includes Harvard University reports and journals. Series V contains correspondence, arranged chronologically. Series VI is comprised of biographical material such as clipping and photographs. Series VII contains miscellaneous notes, fragments, and unidentified writings.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Henry Pfeiffer (1892-1958) was born in Bologna, Italy. He received his MA and PhD from Harvard University. He was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1916 and held a pastorate in Sanborn, New York, from 1916 to 1919. In 1922, he was hired as a professor at Harvard University and he was appointed Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages in 1953. He also served as a professor at Boston University's School of Theology. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in anthropology in 1928 and served as Annual Professor for the Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) from 1928 to 1929. Pfeiffer also served as the curator to Harvard's Semitic Museum. He is the author of numerous books, including Excavations at Nuzi (1929), Introduction to the Old Testament (1941), History of the New Testament Times, With an Introduction to the Apocrypha (1949), The Books of the Old Testament (1957), and Religion in the Old Testament: The History of a Spiritual Triumph (1961).


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Writings
  2. Series II. Applications for Guggenheim Fellowships
  3. Series III. Reviews of Pfeiffer's books
  4. Series IV. General files kept by Pfeiffer
  5. Series V. Correspondence, 1918-1958
  6. Series VI. Biographical file
  7. Series VII. Miscellaneous notes, fragments, and unidentified writings

Acquisition Information

Gift of Matilde Pfeiffer, 1966.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 519.

Pfeiffer, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1892-1958. Papers, 1911-1958: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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